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Re: SD 3rd Edition

May 22, 1998 06:10 PM
by Dr A M Bain

W. Dallas TenBroeck <> writes
>May 21st '98
>Dear Alan:
><any thanks for transmitting Gilbert, etc... opinion on the
>"Third and Revised Edition" S D and the various comments, excuses
>etc... offered.

No "excuses" - only comments.
>I do not believe that Mead had a license from HPB to do as he
>pleased with the SD'  I cal to view his action in the Judge case
>as an example of being misled and taking a wrong turn.  -- but
>that is of course my opinion.

Indeed it is, and Judge gave a great deal to theosophy regardless of the
"Judge case".  Mead held his opinion too!
>Be it what it may, the 3rd & revised Edn. was not REVISED OR
>AUTHORIZED BY HPB.  So she cannot be charged with either errors,
>or difficulties of English.

Part of the point of my post was that HPB (in her 1888 introduction)
admitted of her own  work that - and I quote again - " has many
shortcomings."  So she charges herself.  She also continues, speaking of
herself  (and I repeat the first part as part of the context) : "That it has
many shortcomings she is fully aware; all that she claims for it is that,
romantic as it may seem to many, its logical coherence and consistency
entitle this new Genesis to rank, at any rate, on a level with the
"working hypotheses" so freely accepted by Modern Science."

That she was aware of her difficulties of Enlgish she admits elsewhere,
and it is notable how often she slips into French idioms and expressions
which would have come more naturally to her. (As I recall, her fist
conversations with Olcott were in French).

Also, the 3rd and revised edition made no claim to have been
authorized by her, expressing only the view (by Mead in particular) that
she would have wished it had she lived.  That Mead was in a position to
have an insight into her mind and thought was the point of repeating his
own words regarding her trust in him and Gilbert's quotation which
shows that of all the members of the Society at the time of her funeral,
Mead was singled out for special mention, not least perhaps, because
he lived and worked at her side as her secretary while she still lived.

My own opinion is that the appendage of Annie Besant's name to the
3rd edition preface was mainly in deference to her position as the new
head of the Adyar TS.  It is also important to emphasise that Mead
*did not approve* of the "posthumous" volume three.  If Judge could
have been charged with deception, there is little doubt that at a later
date both Besant and Leadbeater were less than 100% honest in their
presentation of what was, in many instances, a "theosophy" of their
own making; one in which Annie Besant deferred to Leadbeater in a
way that was very likely the case with Mead, who by that time had
severed all connections with the TS in any of its then manifestations.

>  I've studied it enough to know that
>there are things said in the ORIGINAL which have been altered and
>changed in the "3rd & revised"
>and the meaning has been altered.  I am not happy with those

Here you give something of potential substance, from a historical point
of view if nothing else.  Clearly others *were* happy with those
changes.  It would be most useful, and, I hope, a move toards healing
ancient wounds, if the alterations and changes you have noted could be
highlighted and placed together for comparison, so that we and future
generations may, as HPB would certainly have wished, evaluate the
evidence for ourselves.

Sincerely and in fellowship,


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